Braided Rye Bread
At this time of year we would normally be in Spain. Our annual trips to Pollenca in Mallorca are our ‘me time’ where everything stops and we truly switched off. (I’m actually lying here, since we started running our own business 25 years ago we’ve never had a proper holiday that wasn’t interrupted by work…) For obvious reasons we’re not going right now, although we have flights booked in August and I’m getting on that plane even if the whole world is on fire!
In the meantime I’m making this braided rye bread because it reminds me of the wonder Pa Amb Oli tapas that is served on the square in Pollensa in Mallorca. It’s a wonderfully sweet and nutty rye bread that is served lightly toasted with either a strong manchego cheese, roasted veg or thinly sliced meats. It’s a really simple meal as all the best meals are. Rustic to it’s very core.
The Rye Bread
The bread is the real star here and I’ve made it before but I thought I’d give a wonderful 12 strand braided bread a go. It’s something I saw via Baking Bread Recipes over on instagram but belongs to the amazing Challa Atcha Girl. who is the queen of challah.
- 400g strong white bread flour
- 400g rye flour or wholemeal rye flour as it is sometimes known
- 3 teaspoons fact action dried yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon olive oil (plus extra for kneading)
- 600 ml water
Place all the ingredients into a bowl and bring together. The bread can be kneaded the traditional way on a floured work surface for 10 mins but with this amount of rye it’s quite a tough knead to I do it in my smeg stand mixer with the dough hook attachment – again for 10 minutes
Place the kneaded dough into a large well oiled bowl. Cover in clingfilm and let it rise for at least an hour or until doubled in size.
Turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 12 equal portions. Roll each portion into a long sausage. (Roughly 10cm long) Once you have 12 strands, portion them off into 4 sections of 3 strands.
You then need to braid it. It’s very easy to do but complicated to write down so go watch this video to see how it’s done.
Pre-heat the oven to 220C and line a baking tray with parchment.
Once braided, tuck the loose ends under and let it rest for 30 mins before brushing with a lightly beaten egg. Bake for 35 – 45 mins then set aside on a wire rack to cool.
Eat and of course, enjoy!